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Mannella Endowed Funds Support Lecture Series and Collections: A Way to Honor Cherished Family Members

On October 27, Falvey Memorial Library will host the inaugural lecture in the “Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Distinguished Speakers Series.” Richard Juliani, Ph.D., sociology department, will describe his four decades of research on the Italian experience in Philadelphia, highlighting both challenges and future opportunities. His talk will begin at 7 p.m.

Mr. Alfred S. Mannella

Alfred S. Mannella

In 1996, Falvey Memorial Library’s friend and supporter Alfred S. Mannella, ’58 VSB, established two endowed library funds to support the purchase of books and other research materials as memorials to family members.

Now one of those funds will also support a lecture series.

The Speakers series honors Mr. Mannella’s parents, Alfred F. and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella. His father, the son of immigrants, was born in Philadelphia in 1904 and established himself as a tailor. An avid sports fan, he developed an interest in Villanova football starting in the 1930s when Maurice J. “Clipper” Smith was the coach.

His mother was the grandchild of immigrants and grew up in south Philadelphia.

Before the creation of the Speakers series, the Mannella fund significantly enriched the Library’s Italian-American studies collection, enabling the addition of important literary works and contributions to history and the social sciences. Other purchases include personal narratives, popular literature and books on the influence of food in Italian culture. Book purchases will continue with available funds.

The other endowed fund that Mr. Mannella established supports the purchase of materials in psychology and self-motivation. In memory of his nephew Michael J. Mannella, this fund honors a young man’s talent to motivate others. This reserve has provided an extensive research and popular literature collection on motivation, as the fund enables the Library to offer many of the best works on these topics.

Mr. Mannella’s interest in the University library traces back to his days as a Villanova student. He was a “day hop” at Villanova, a commuter who found the Library to be the perfect refuge between classes during long nine-hour days that began at 8:30 a.m.  Following graduation, he pursued a career in industry, specializing in cost analysis, cost control and production efficiency.

He eventually was promoted to CFO and later president of a mid-sized multi-national corporation. Then, through a series of company mergers and acquisitions, he performed additional CEO and senior management roles until his retirement. Mr. Mannella currently resides in Florida.

Endowments produce an annual income to support new book purchases or programs like the lecture series. This is one way alumni, parents and friends can demonstrate support for the Library and University. Mr. Mannella established his funds in part to encourage others to make similar gifts.

Falvey Memorial Library is grateful to have Mr. Mannella as a generous supporter and friend, whose commitment enables the University to continue to offer exceptional programs and resources. For more information about ways to support Falvey Memorial Library, please contact the Office of University Advancement.

By Dennis Lambert (with thanks to Mr. Mannella; Emily Spitale, Director of Communication, Office of University Development; and John Oles, Office of University Development); photograph by John Welsh


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  1. Comment by Joseph R Mannella — October 28, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

    Al I am very proud to be your brother. We are all grateful for what you have done to honor Mom,Dad and Michael

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Last Modified: October 13, 2009